Hormones hijacking your health?

If everything you ate had the exact same pathway through the body, an Oreo cookie would be just as good a snack as a few almonds. The theory “calories in = calories out” has long been retired, but we still cling to it in hopes of being able to eat whatever we wish. After all, the food industry tells us that all its profitable products are healthy, so how could they NOT be?

Insulin is like the body’s food police force, monitoring everything that comes in. Its purpose is to protect and keep the peace. Its methods however, can be rather harsh, causing undue harm, and hindering the body’s ability to burn calories and perform work.

When insulin is not racing around the bloodstream on a rampage, your energy levels are high, fat stores are burned as fuel, and metabolism works at its best. These are the jobs the body WANTS to do, and does very well, when it is fed fair fuel. An abundance of sugar, on the other hand, in all its well-marketed forms, causes the pancreas to send a fleet of insulin into the bloodstream to protect the body from the harmful effects of sugar on cells. Like any aggressive correctional system, the insulin police shove all the sugar molecules into confinement – as FAT – rather than finding them useful work.

This is why those Oreos will get stored as fat, though they have the same quantity of useable calories as an avocado. You may think you can sneak those sugary snacks in, but when the fat cells keep filling up, you know insulin is on the prowl.

The more calories insulin puts away, the more stringent its search for sugar becomes. Like the drug war in the United States, you can’t beat it. If you don’t learn the system, you will forever be caught up in it. Get to know exactly what insulin does, when it is most sensitive, and what keeps it calm. When you keep out of its line of fire, you will be able to empty those fat cells of the stored up fuel. When you get back on its good side, you might be able to slide some extra sugar in now and again. But don’t push your luck.

How do you keep insulin happy? The million dollar diet question. The key is to create meals and snacks that are not loaded with concentrated carbohydrates. A couple handfuls of vegetables, a small handful of protein and a couple fingers of fat make a ideal meal. Starvation is not advisable, so be sure that you are taking in enough food to fuel you. Too little, and you will stress your system. Stress sends out an alarm for cortisol to come calling – the saboteur of all desperate diet efforts.

2 comments

  • Melanie Hazell

    Nice use of metaphors in the blog below.

    Melanie Hazell
    Executive Coaching Managing Partner
    Hazell & Associates/Career Partners International
    647.260.2998

    • Sometimes metaphors help explain the complexities of the body in a way that is more tangible. Explaining how insulin acts like the drug police is an easy way to understand how it collects sugar and throws it into holding cells – as fat.

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